Ever since meeting the Hubby nearly 14 years ago I've struggled with the fact that I will never be the breadwinner of the family. Compared to the Hubby's skills, mine are pitiful and I could never earn as much as him in a 'proper' job. That's not me putting myself down, that is fact.
The Hubby is a programmer, and right now he's a company director. The kind of money he's earned in the past, and possibly in the future, is something I could only dream of earning. I trained as a secretary - I can type, I can file, I can do admin. In a 'proper' job I'd be lucky to earn £20k per year.
Society is so focused on 'Girl Power' and making sure women get equal opportunities where jobs and pay are concerned that they're forgetting it's actually about choice.
Of course I agree that a woman and a man, both qualified and capable of doing the same job, should be paid the same. Of course I believe women should have the same opportunities as men for the top jobs. But I also think we should be allowed to choose for ourselves.
Back in the 50s the stereotypical mum was fantastic in the kitchen, had a spotless house, and had well-behaved children. She was happy to cook for her family, take care of her children and potter about the house. Nothing was ever said about her hobbies or who she really was, she was just 'mum'.
Fast forward to present day and women are "allowed" to be anything they want, they're encouraged to try for the top jobs, they're told to ask for more money. But...
that leaves the mums who choose to stay at home feeling like they're not good enough.
Mums like you and me.
It took me a long time to accept that it's okay to NOT be the breadwinner. But you know what?
It is okay.
I used to say that I'm "lucky" enough to be able to be a stay-at-home mum but there's nothing lucky about it. My husband has worked his butt off to get us where we are and I shouldn't be diminishing his hard work by saying I'm lucky.
If your partner works hard to earn the money they do you are not "lucky". You are entitled to the benefits of that hard work, and if that means you get to be a stay-at-home mum great!
Being there for the children
As the stay-at-home mum you're able to take care of your children as they grow into well-rounded young adults. You are the one to teach them about manners, you are the one to answer their awkward questions, you are the one who helps them when they're hit with the tortuous tween hormones.
You are there for them when they need you, be it illnesses like chicken pox or the sickness bug. You pick them up from school every day. You entertain them when there's an INSET day from school and you take them on day trips.
You are the constant in your children's lives, giving them assurance that no matter what happens you'll be there.
In the home
While the children are at school you have time to get the housework done. You arrive home and tackle the washing mountain (reducing it by mere centimetres), you load the dishwasher, you iron clothes.
The hoovering and polishing comes next and if you're lucky the children haven't left the lego all over the floor for you to clean up first.
You're able to chop up vegetables and meat and throw it into the slow-cooker so that your family has a yummy meal at the end of a tough day. You are the one that controls what they're eating, you can see the foods they're eating and you know if they have a healthy diet.
Time for you
With the children at school and the housework done you have time for you. This means you can learn a new skill, indulge in a hobby, or even sit and drink a hot coffee. You have time to sit and breath without the constant barrage of questions from the children. Whether you choose to use your time for hobbies, a new passion (like blogging!), or a coffee with friends, you have the time to be yourself.
YOU become a well-rounded, relaxed person.
All this culminates in a well-run (for the most part) household with happy (barring tween tantrums) and healthy children.
You may not earn money for the family but your role is just as important.
You ensure the happiness of your family and no one else could do it as well as you can.
Have you struggled with not being the breadwinner?
If so I'd love to hear your story in the comments, let me know how you deal with it.
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